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Appendix 17. Aesopus et domina


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 545.


Aesopus turpi cum seruiret feminae,

quae se expingendo totum tricaret diem,

uestem uniones aurum argentum sumeret,

nec inueniret digito qui se tangeret,

"Licetne paucis?" inquit. "Dicas." "Censeo,

quiduis efficies, cultum se deposueris."

"Adeone per me uideor tibi meliuscula?"

"Immo, ni dederis, sponda cessabit tua."

"At non cessabunt latera" respondit "tua";

et obiurgari iussit ferulis garrulum.

Post paulo armillam tollit fur argenteam.

Eam non apparere ut dictum est mulieri,

omnes furore plena uocat, et uerbera

proponit grauia, uerum si non dixerint.

"Aliis minare; me" inquit "non falles, era;

flagris sum caesus , uerum quia dixi modo."


Here is the poem in a more prose-like word order for easy reading:


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Here is the poem with meter marks:


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Aesop was once the slave of an ugly woman who wasted entire days adorning herself with make-up, but even with all her fancy clothes and pearls and silver and gold she still could not find anyone who would so much as touch her. 'Might I say a few words?' asked Aesop. 'Go ahead,' she replied. 'I think that you could achieve all your hopes and dreams,' said Aesop, 'if only you would put aside this finery.' 'Do you really find me so much more attractive when I'm just my sweet little old self?' she asked. 'Quite the opposite,' said Aesop, 'but if you stopped giving your jewellery away, you could give your bedsprings a break.' 'I'm going to break every bone in your body!' she answered back, and ordered them to beat the indiscreet slave with whips. Shortly thereafter, a thief stole one of the mistress's silver bracelets. When she was told that the bracelet was nowhere to be found, the mistress was enraged and summoned all the slaves, threatening them with painful punishments if they didn't tell the truth. 'Threaten the others,' said Aesop, 'but you aren't going to fool me, my mistress: it's because I told the truth just now that you had me whipped and beaten!'




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